Design for Occupational Safety and Health: An Integrated Model for Designers’ Knowledge Assessment

Ebenezer Adaku, Nii Ankrah, Issaka Ndekugri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


One of the approaches to mitigate occupational safety and health (OSH) risk on construction projects is the design for occupational safety and health (DfOSH) initiative. The DfOSH initiative places a duty on designers to originate designs that are inherently safe for construction, maintenance, occupation and demolition. To achieve this goal, designers must possess appropriate knowledge of OSH risks as they relate to construction products. However, what constitutes DfOSH knowledge of designers is still not clear in the extant literature as well as in practice. Hence, this study systematically reviews literature of prior conceptualisations of the knowledge construct, undertakes contents analyses and provides a robust conceptualisation as a basis for its meaningful operationalisation with regards to DfOSH. The robust conceptualisation of the knowledge construct underpinned the development of a nomological network to operationalise the DfOSH knowledge of designers. The study presents knowledge regarding DfOSH as a multi-dimensional construct that can be measured at various levels of specificity. The integrated model can serve as a guide for clients to clarify the DfOSH knowledge of prospective designers in the procurement process. Respectively, designers intending to improve on their DfOSH knowledge can similarly be guided by this model to identify their DfOSH knowledge gaps and subsequently take steps to overcome such knowledge deficiencies. Additionally, the model invokes further studies, both theoretically and empirically, into how designers’ DfOSH knowledge can be effectively harnessed and enhanced for managing OSH risk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Joint CIB WO99 & TG59 International Web-Conference 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors


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